DVC Lodging Series – Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is the largest Walt Disney World resort complex. Located on the shores of Lake Buena Vista across from Downtown Disney, its water, garden, and golf views are all spectacular. Opened in May, 2004, it is one of seven DVC’s in WDW.
This 65 acre piece of land was formerly the site of the 1970’s Lake Buena Vista Villas closed because of tax and representation issues. It then became the Disney Institute schooling visitors in business and management techniques. Eventually Disney cleared the land and built its Disney-style leased property Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga Springs is reminiscent of upstate New York with its horse racing, mineral springs, and fashionable society. The architecture is late 1800’s Victorian. The recurring theme is equestrian. Guests register and check in at the Carriage House where, of course, concierge service is available and ready to assist.
A well-stocked market, the convenient and casual Artist’s Palette eatery, the On the Rocks Pool Bar, and the former Lake Buena Vista Golf Club Restaurant reopened and revamped into the Turf Club Bar and Grill are on property. Downtown Disney’s restaurants are only a walk or a water shuttle away. It is hard to stay “home” and cook with T-Rex, the Rain Tree Forest Cafe, and Planet Hollywood playing out the kid in all of us; the House of Blues, Raglan Road, and Bongo’s Cuban, the lively entertaining side; and Portabello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck, the gourmet dining experience.
The recreational facilities are super. With the place on a premier golf course, guests can choose to be in one of those golf cards going by or choose something else. Basketball? It has a full court. Tennis? It has several. Shuffleboard? That too. The place even has bicycle rentals for those who want to explore the jogging paths without actually taking a step.
The Win Place or Show Arcade is always busy. Community Hall sees a great deal of traffic with young and old alike joining in various programs and activities. For those who love to cook out, a big BBQ pavilion is always open. Obviously, the chefs bring their own fixings. Kids love the rock work theme pool and the playground. For those who like something more secluded and private, there are also two other pools and a health club and spa.
Complimentary bus service into the parks and downtown makes it easy to get around. Perks include use of Magical Express service both to and from Orlando International, extra Magic Hours, a good discount on annual passes, and a big “Welcome Home”. DVC members also receive free internet service.
Since hubby and I were alone, we booked a studio for some romance and R&R. Our accommodations included a queen-sized bed, a double sofa sleeper, table and chairs, armoire with TV and DVD player, shower bath, and balcony. (Recommended occupancy four.)
We peeked into a one bedroom villa. Seeing is believing. It had a full kitchen that seats four, a living room with a queen-sized sleeper sofa, TV, DVD player, its own balcony; a bedroom with a king bed and whirlpool tub; and a full shower bathroom. Oops, I almost forgot the laundry room. (Recommended occupancy also four.)
We also peaked into a two-bedroom. It’s a one bedroom and a studio with a connecting door from the living area. (Recommended occupancy eight.)
We didn’t get a chance to tour a grand villa but we saw the plans for one. It is two levels, three bedrooms, and sleeps twelve.
We’ve been to Saratoga Springs before. I know we will book there again.
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